“I am extremely proud of Vivian (Kong), Francesca (Bassa) and Alexa (Rohan),” said head coach Lisa Milgram. “Those three women fenced great and I could not be happier with their performances.”
Kong and Bassa met two weeks ago for the NCAA West Regional Championship and the Cardinal duo would meet again for a title on Friday. The two All-Americans battled throughout the bout, but it was Kong coming out on top again for her first national championship.
“It was nice and I am very happy,” said Kong. “I tried to take it one point at a time and it went well. I am very honored to represent Stanford and join its other fencers who have won national championships. I really look up to Francesca and it was hard to fence her in the finals.”
Stanford now has 11 individual national championships in fencing. Kong joins Felicia Zimmermann (1999) as the only two to win the women’s epee title. Zimmerman also won a foil championship in 1998, while Eva Petschnigg (2000) and Iris Zimmermann (2001) earned back-to-back foil titles.
To get to the finals, Kong defeated Jessie Radanovich of Penn State and won 15-8. Kong led all fencers through the five rounds of fencing to qualify for the semifinals with 19 wins in 23 bouts.
“I lost to her (Radanovich) the first time I fenced her here,” said Kong. “I was down by three points in the semifinal, but I changed my strategy and I came out with a victory.”
Bassa knocked off the No. 2 seed Susannah Scanlan of Princeton, 15-14, in the semifinals. Bassa entered the semifinals as the No. 3 seed after winning 17 of her 23 contests in earlier rounds. She ends her Stanford career as a four-time All-American and finished off her career with her first career first team honor after claiming second place.
Freshman Alexa Rohan placed 16th in her first career NCAA Championships. She was able to climb up three spots from her Thursday finish. She ended the tournament with 10 wins in 23 bouts.
Overall Stanford claimed 46 victories among its three competitors. The total has the Cardinal in seventh place for the NCAA Team Championships.
Four Stanford men will begin fencing tomorrow in Columbus. The men’s championships will be decided on Sunday.